UN probes into Saudi use of banned munitions in Yemen

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Rupert Colville (L) and Interim Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva Ahmad Fawzi briefs the press on January 29, 2016 in Geneva. AFP

Here is a round-up of global news developments:

  • The UN has accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the killing of two-thirds of civilians in Yemen between January and February. UN Human rights agency spokesman Rupert Colville said an investigation is underway into Saudi Arabia's use of banned munitions in Yemen; including cluster bombs.
  • Yemeni protesters hold a mass rally in the western port city of Hudaydah against Saudi Arabia’s months-long war on their country. The demonstrators called for an immediate end to Riyadh’s aggression. More than 84-hundred people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the beginning of Saudi war on Yemen last March.
  • UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura rejects foreign interference in determining the fate of the Syrian president. He said the matter should be decided by the people of Syria. De Mistura also said Syria’s truce has led to a sharp reduction in the number of deaths.
  • Turkish riot police fire teargas on protesters and storm the headquarters of the country's leading opposition newspaper, Zaman in Istanbul. The daily, which is a critic of President Rejeb Tayyib Erdogan, is accused of having ties with U-S-based opposition figure Fethullah Gulen.
  • A new report has revealed that nearly 100 sexual abuse allegations have been leveled against the U-N staffers last year, the majority of them against peacekeepers deployed to African nations. Around one-third of the cases are from the UN mission in the Central African Republic.
  • The Vatican has admitted that the Catholic Church has failed to take enough measures to stop the sexual abuse of priests in many countries. The Vatican, however, defended the actions of popes Francis and Benedict saying they had tackled the issue in several western countries.
  • Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has lashed out at the detention of her predecessor and political ally Lula da Silva. Police arrested the former president on Friday and conducted search operations at his residence in Sao Paolo. Da Silva is suspected of having committed wrongdoing regarding state oil company Petrobras.
  • US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has pledged that he would not violate the international law if elected president. The Republican front-runner had earlier backed torturing terror suspects and even targeting their families. Trump's controversial remarks have been met with criticism from some of the G-O-P members.


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